Vaccination in doctors’ practices: here is what you need to know
Vaccination is well underway in Germany. Across the entire nation, doctors’ practices are significantly contributing toward facilitating this success. This article tells you all you need to know about coronavirus vaccination in doctors’ practices.
In addition to the coronavirus vaccination centres, which vaccinate several hundred thousand people a day and the associated vaccination teams that operate, for instance, in nursing care facilities, doctors are also carrying out vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2. Doctors’ practices play a substantial part in administering the available vaccine to as many people as possible, thus protecting them from severe disease progression. Until early June 2021, the scheduled date for removal of the priority groups, vaccinations were performed according to the following approach: the most vulnerable get vaccinated first. In particular, this group includes senior citizens, medical staff and people with pre-existing medical conditions. Now, since 7 June 2021, every citizen over 16 years of age can arrange an appointment for their vaccination. However, in light of the expected sizes of vaccine deliveries, this does not mean that anyone wanting it will get their jab right away.
We explain how to arrange an appointment, why waits are to be expected and what else is important when getting vaccinated in a doctor’s practice.
Can everyone get vaccinated by their family doctor?
Since removal of the prioritisation, everyone living in Germany, who is aged 16 or over, can endeavour to arrange a vaccination appointment. Important: Not everyone willing to get vaccinated will receive their coronavirus vaccination right away, since there is still only a limited amount of vaccine available. Therefore, you will have to be prepared to wait for an appointment.
Good to know: The prioritisation for the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines was already lifted before June. What is more, when using the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to its market authorisation the doctor carrying out the vaccination may, after discussing the topic with the individual to be vaccinated, select themselves the interval between the first and second dose for anywhere between four and 12 weeks. The scientific findings that a longer vaccination interval increases efficacy should be taken into account in the medical consultation.
May all non-hospital doctors carry out vaccinations?
For doctors’ practices, participation in the vaccination campaign is voluntary. Since the amount of weekly vaccine dose deliveries is limited at the start of the campaign, initially only panel doctors were able to carry out vaccinations. This group not only includes family doctors but also specialist physicians. As of 7 June 2021, non-hospital private physicians and company doctors are also allowed to carry out vaccinations.
How do I get a vaccination appointment?
Appointments are scheduled directly by the participating practices. We recommend that you get in touch with your attending physician directly to check whether the practice carries out COVID-19 vaccinations and how vaccination is organised there. Some physicians offer special time slots for vaccinations, while others arrange appointments whenever available or directly inform their patients themselves. Generally, a high demand and long waiting times are to be expected.
What do I need to bear in mind before getting vaccinated against the coronavirus?
Please bring your vaccination booklet to your appointment so the doctor can fill in the data about your vaccination. Please inform yourself – preferably beforehand – by reading the information sheet on vaccination, which, above all, provides details on the efficacy and safety of the coronavirus vaccination. Here you can also access in advance both the medical history sheet, which contains questions about your state of health, and the consent form.
Making an informed decision regarding vaccination:
What exactly is COVID-19? How does the vaccine work? What vaccine reactions and adverse effects might occur? The Coronavirus vaccination may pose a variety of questions. Find answers to your most urgent questions even before your personal consultation with the doctor in the information sheet.
On the medical history sheet, you should provide details concerning your state of health, previous vaccinations and existing allergies. This information is vital for the doctor to be able to exclude certain potential risks. By signing the consent form, you declare your consent to being vaccinated.
The following link will take you to a document containing the information sheet and the consent form in English.
Which document you need depends on the vaccine you will receive. The Moderna vaccine and the vaccine manufactured by BioNTech/Pfizer are MRNA vaccines, while the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines are vector vaccines.
You can use the "Vaccine doses by institution" category of the Vaccination dashboard to see how many people have already been vaccinated in doctors’ practices or vaccination centres. Please note that this website is only available in German.